My snowshoe easily broke through the two feet of snow that covered the well and down I tumbled into the soft snow. My years of experience as a photographer reminded me to “ at all costs”, and although my leg twisted and snow covered me, I held the camera up high and safe from the wet snow.
I should have remembered that hole. It’s not like I hadn’t been there many times over the years photographing the rusting 1930’s car. I would go there spring, summer, fall and winter in the rain, snow, and sunshine. I should have remembered where it was, but as usual, it’s always about the photograph. I had put on my snowshoes and hiked up the rolling hills to a long meadow not far from my home.
I have always liked snowshoeing. In my teens my friends and I would head out cross-country trekking for hours through the deep powder in the mountains. I remember overnight trips where we dug snow caves to spend the night in (snowshoes also made great doors). Then we’d ski down long valleys and snowshoe up hills as we moved through the snow covered mountains.
My rural home is surrounded by wooded forests and rolling hills that are perfect for walking, or as today, snowshoeing. Each year I look forward to enough snow-pack to snowshoe in, and after another morning of shoveling a path to my chicken coops, to the car and cleaning the driveway, I decided it was time for my first winter hike up to the high meadow above my home.
The day was overcast, but today’s modern cameras easily handle ISOs of 800 and 1600, so the lack of bright reflection and low contrast on a snowy landscape made everything so much easier to see and photograph. And handholding is undemanding as one can keep the shutterspeed way over 1/400th of a second and still achieve lots of depth of field.
I mounted a 24-70mm on my camera and set out to photograph the snow covered hills on the quiet, cloudy day. I like hiking when the only sound is my footsteps, or in this case, my snowshoes.
I hiked up and, as usual, photographed everything. When I stroll through that long meadow I rarely see animals, but I always feel as though I am being watched. That’s a good thing. This time a crow swooped low and circled me as I photographed the Thompson River valley far below. I am sure it was wondering what I was doing there.
I could see a storm rolling down from the mountains and photographed that also. Soon another crow appeared overhead, and this time cried a warning that I am sure was about the storm. And then it began snowing. There is nothing like standing in a forest meadow during a snowstorm; it’s quiet. The sounds from both the Trans Canada Highway and the CN Railroad alongside disappeared.
Thirty years ago, when I first started wandering that area there were three buildings, two old cars and an apple tree. Now the struggling tree no longer bears fruit, someone hauled off the better of the two cars, one building fell down, and the last two are just hanging on.
Still, it’s a great place to snowshoe with a camera and I was having fun and the heavy falling snow didn’t bother me, I just kept wiping the water off my camera as I photographed the on-coming storm, the old buildings and the remnants of that old car and that’s when I fell into the well.
I think stumbling, bumping into things and sometimes falling while paying more attention to the subject being photographed than things in the way isn’t that unusual to those of us that participate in the exciting medium of photography.
I was wet, but I was fine, the camera was fine, and the snowshoes were fine, and best of all, I got lot of great winter pictures.
I’d really like to read your comments.
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com
Beautifully written John.
One of the aspects of the Kamloops area which I miss is the openness (much more rain where I live, so many more trees). I enjoy the vistas you’ve captured. And the snow curl (one of our Bridge Lake Photo Group members showed a photo of an equally impressive one at our meeting the other evening).
There’s something about snow and old log buildings or fences which makes one grab for a camera. Lovely photos – a real pleasure to follow along with you on your trek.
Yes, the rolling hills are perfect for wandering and I am glad you enjoyed my pictures and words Derek.
Thanks for taking the time to comment –
Thank you for bringing out the long forgotten past I had ,when I also as a young man done much as you;ve inscribed ..such memories Thanks again
Ahh…yer another snowshoe enthusiast Duncan. I am pleased you enjoyed my blog and I appreciate that you took the time to comment.
I love the second picture the most, with the snowy mountains and dramatic sky. Lovely work.
That is a view of the Thompson River valley, looking east. There is a large river down there that snakes along the Trans Canada Highway and about 16 or so miles from my position there is a small town situated on the shore of the Little Shuswap Lake.
I am happy you liked my picture and that you took a moment to let me know. Thanks so much.
One of my favourite entries John (favourite this year…ha ha!). Beautiful narrative and gorgeous photos. Cheers for 2014!
Thank you Dina. I am pleased you liked my story and pictures. And my best to you and your’s for this new year.
Another great post John. I always enjoy your commentary but especially this time. Well done. I have recently moved to Revelstoke and I am looking forward to all the photo opportunities here. I would appreciate your feed back, if I may impose, on some future photos. What is the best way for me to send them to you? Your blog followers feed back would be openly received as well.
Thank you John, glad you liked my article and I appreciate that you are taking the time to comment. I expect there will be some great photo opportunities in Revelstoke.
You can send anything to my email: email@example.com
I look forward to seeing your photography and thanks again, John